Native American Fellows Named to Hollywood Writing Workshop
During the 2013-14 television season, Native Americans composed only 0.1% of writers staffed on TV shows. To help address the issue and increase representation, The LA Skins Fest, a Native American film festival, selected eight fellows for its Native American TV Writers Lab -- which is done in partnership with Comcast NBCUniversal, The Walt Disney Company, HBO, and Kung Fu Monkey Productions. Regular Beat readers will recall that the workshop is designed to prepare Native Americans for writing careers at major television networks. Fellows take part in a five-week curriculum curated by seasoned writing executives. The fellows include Brooklyn-based writer and comedian John Timothy (Muscogee/Creek). He teaches and performs at The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York where you can see him every Saturday night with his team, The Curfew. Shelley Dennis was born into a family of Choctaw storytellers in small-town Oklahoma and has since written for Disney’s Tangled TV show and toured alongside Wayne Brady, doing both standup and improv comedy. William Paul Smith is an Eastern Shoshone actor, writer, and filmmaker. His work examines culture, identity, gender, sexuality, and spiritually through a Native lens, adopting a filmic language that traverses narrative, documentary, and interdisciplinary cinema. Cara Jade Myers (Kiowa / Wichita) is an actress and writer. Micah Ian War Dog Wright is an enrolled member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and has worked as a writer, director, designer, and producer. His feature film writing/directing debut, the comedic horror thriller They’re Watching, was released in theaters and is now available on Netflix and iTunes worldwide. Most recently, Wright served as the Chief Content Officer of FNX, the country’s only Native American television network. Carolina Hoyos is a first generation Peruvian Quechua-Inca Afro-Latina who writes and performs with improv and sketch troupes at UCB, iOWest, Comedy Central, ACME Noho, and The Clubhouse. She just began research on an international political drama based on her family’s involvement in world politics from the Civil Rights movement to the Gulf War. Robert Vestal (Cherokee descent) is an actor, writer, and director based in Los Angeles. He’s a graduate of The Groundlings and has appeared in numerous commercials and is a veteran of the Stage having performed in front of an audience literally thousands of times. Learn more about them all here.